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Safe technologies render offshore oil and gas operations more profitable, says Sowole


Mrs Abiola Sowole is the Executive Chairman, Arrowville Energy Limited. She was a lecturer at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, and the Director of a training institute, which worked closely with international experts recommended by Templeton College, Oxford, and major companies in Nigeria, including those in the energy sector. In this interview with ROSELINE OKERE, she spoke about Arrowville Technology and Safety seminar coming up in July and its benefits to the Nigeria’s oil sector. Excerpts.

You plan to hold an oil and gas seminar. What is the topic of the seminar and what informed your choice of topic?

Actually, we are planning to run four seminars between July 30 and the end of October, in both Lagos and London, on Technology and Safety, with the collaboration with the renowned American author on Safety, Ian Sutton, and the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen.


Our choice of topics were determined by the fact that Technology and the new approach to Safety are key to the survival and development of deep offshore oil and gas exploration and production companies.

What value will the presentations on the topics add to the Nigerian economy?

The titles of the seminars are “Technology-Enabled Cost Reduction Strategies for Deep Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Operations”, “Safety in the New Deep Offshore Environment” and “Operational Excellence in the Oil and Gas Industry: a New Approach to Safety”.

By reducing the cost of exploration and production, safe technologies render offshore oil and gas operations more profitable, in these times of low – if increasing – crude oil price.

Again, recent research on process safety has led to the development of the concept of “operational excellence”, which includes business activities and management programmes related to overall operational performance, such that not only is safety improved but also the industry is assisted in becoming more efficient and more profitable.

You have been holding oil and gas seminars for many years now. How have recommendations from past seminars helped the Federal Government formulate the right policies?

We commenced our operations in 2013. Our activities have been affected by the industry slump of 2014, the economic catastrophe which affected the business of the organizations which participate in oil and gas seminars and conferences.

Unfortunately, when organizations face economic challenges, budgets for capacity building are the first to be cut.


We advise, in the seminars we are running this year, that there be no compromise on safety and environmental protection.

Participants from Government submit reports, on their return to their offices, to their bosses, who are often decision-makers.

Another way of influencing public policies is, of course, through communiqués submitted to Government. And we shall be drawing up communiqués at the close of the four seminars.

Who are the speakers for the seminar and what are the sub-topics they will be speaking on?

The July 30 Lagos seminar is titled “Technology-Enabled Cost Reduction Strategies for Deep Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Operations”.

Presentations will be made on “Technology Innovations for the Development of Deep Offshore Fields for High Productivity”, “Application of Modeling and Simulation Tools for High Capacity Utilization of Equipment and Facilities”, “Automation and Mechanization of High-Cost Repetitive Activities” (e.g. Drilling and Well Completion Activities), “Utilization of Mobility Technologies for Higher Efficiency of Offshore Personnel”, “Use of Robotic Technology for Safe and Cost-Effective Technology” (e.g. to inspect difficult-to-access elements like offshore risers and to pilot unmanned aerial vehicles – i.e. drones – into areas which are dangerous for human activities), “Cost-Effective Technologies for Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions Reduction”.

Speakers for this seminar are Professor Euan Nisbet and Dr Lateef Akanji. Professor Euan Nisbet has been the foundation professor of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London since 1992.

After degrees at Cambridge, he held a NERC Fellowship at Oxford, then a Royal Society Fellowship at ETH Zurich. He taught at Cambridge and then moved to Saskatchewan.

In the 1980s, while he held a Steacie Fellowship from NSERC Canada, he became increasingly concerned about atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Currently he leads NERC’s Global Methane Budget Consortium, Project MOYA.

The London Safety seminar is titled Operational Excellence in the Oil and Gas Industry: a New Approach to Safety and is scheduled for October 22 to 24.

This seminar presents three stages in which new strategies for operational excellence in the oil and gas industry could develop. Discussions are on process safety, operational excellence, which goes beyond process safety, and business and internal management programmes.

Major speakers for this seminar are Wallace Robertson and Ahmed Gedik, who are associates of the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen. Wallace Robertson is a chartered occupational health and safety professional and a Quality Health, Safety and Environ.

In this article:
Abiola SowoleOil and Gas
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